"If you could only eat one of these for the rest of your life, which would you choose: noodles, rice, or bread?" That was the deep, thought-provoking question posed by a good friend on a recent Sunday afternoon. After debating the merits of all choices and the various functionalities, we discussed what we'd miss most about not having bread. No longer would there be sandwiches, piled high with layers of meats and cheese, no more bruschetta or crostini to start a meal and no crusty loaves for wiping clean the contents of a saucy bowl. And worst of all, there would be no more pizza.
While one could argue that pizza dough isn't bread, I'm going to bypass the whole scenario to get to my point about how a good flatbread can make a welcome substitute for homemade pizza dough. The initial discovery came about during Thanksgiving at my parent's house when my dad brought home fresh and warm flatbread that honestly might be the best I've ever eaten. With a crunchy exterior and soft, chewy interior, I immediately began brainstorming the ways to eat it—open-faced Greek salad sandwiches, soaked in a thick and spicy tomato sauce, or used to wipe up the gooey yolks of sunny-side up eggs—until it hit me: pizza!
Instead of laboring over a homemade pizza dough, which I'm frankly too lazy to do on a weeknight, a pre-made crust or flatbread takes the work and wait out of the equation and lets you have fun with the toppings. When company's over, I like to put together a full pizza bar, complete with oven-roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, various cheeses, and a spicy tomato sauce, so that each person can make themselves the perfect pizza. This recipe is a relatively straightforward spin off that idea, and uses a ready-to-cook crust that's surprisingly tasty (even average supermarket options have definitely improved in more recent years), or you could use your favorite flatbread in a pinch.
I begin by sautéing the shallots, adding broccolini and finally browning the mushrooms. Once they're done, I put them aside and wipe the skillet clean, cooking the crust with a little bit of olive oil on one side before flipping it. Next, I add my cheese and toppings, cover the pan, and cooking the whole thing stovetop for a delicious, veggie-packed dinner that's ready in less than 20 minutes. Whether you stick with my toppings or pick out your own combination, you're going to love the flexibility and fun you can with this easy weeknight meal.
About the Author: Yasmin Fahr is a food lover, writer, and cook. Follow her @yasminfahr for more updates on her eating adventures and discoveries, which will most likely include tomatoes. And probably feta. Happy eating!